Sunday, 26 June 2016

Shortlisted for the White Rose Awards final - for second consecutive year

Holdsworth House has made it to the finals of the Welcome to Yorkshire White Rose Awards for the second consecutive year.

The prestigious awards recognises the best of Yorkshire's accommodation and tourist attractions and Holdsworth House is once again shortlisted for the Large Hotel of the Year title.

Hotel general manager, Mr Joseph Farrar, said "This is amazing news for Holdsworth House. To be shortlisted last year was incredible, but to reach the finals again this year is extra special. There are some incredible hotels in the final and to be ranked alongside them makes us all feel very proud. This comes off the back of our recent win at the I Do Wedding Awards for
Best Wedding Venue, making 2016 a great year for us."

Farrar continues, 'We've continued to invest in the hotel and we're always looking to develop new ideas so that we can offer guests something special, somewhere unique. We've just created two new roomy suites by knocking together our former single rooms which are going down very well with our wedding parties, plus we've upgraded the bar area with new flooring and furniture. There is lots of investment behind the scenes too to ensure the operation continues to run smoothly."

The White Rose Awards judging process continues throughout the summer and the winner is announced at a glittering awards ceremony in the autumn.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Bronte Yorkshire - 5 Top Bronte Attractions on a trail from Holdsworth House

2016 marks the 200th anniversary since Charlotte Bronte's birth. Sisters Charlotte (the eldest of the surviving girls born to father Patrick and mother Maria), Anne and Emily lived in Haworth, West Yorkshire along with their brother Branwell. Their home - the Parsonage, adjacent to the church where Patrick preached - is now a world-class museum dedicated to preserving the Brontes' artefacts and famous works, as it was in the days they lived there, from 1820.

If you're London-based then we suggest you hop on a Grand Central train and take the direct journey from Kings Cross to Halifax, West Yorkshire to combine a luxury short break with visiting the Bronte sights first hand. Stay at Holdsworth House in Halifax and you'll have the perfect base from which to explore.

There are some brilliant Bronte Places listed on the Bronte website, but here are our Yorkshire recommendations to enhance your literary trail:

1. Visit the National Portrait Gallery in London for the Celebrating Charlotte Brontë exhibition (on until August 14th 2016). Room 24 has some treasures on loan from the Bronte Parsonage Museum including the only surviving painted portraits of the sisters by their brother Branwell.

Bronte Parsonage, Haworth
2. The Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth. A  20 minute car ride from Holdsworth House takes you across the landscape to the beautiful town of Haworth and the amazing Bronte Parsonage Museum. Prepare to feel goosebumps as you wander the halls, see the writing desks and the original jotters, drawings, paintings, clothes and artefacts of the Bronte Family. In Haworth you'll find plenty of coffee shops, the Black Bull pub that was frequented by Branwell and the famous cobbled street that was the scene for the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014.

3. Visit the film locations of the latest chapter in the Bronte story. Award-winning writer and director Sally Wainwright, described by The Guardian as the 'titan of genuine reality television', has filmed a new BBC literary drama, To Walk Invisible in Yorkshire. The series, about the lives of the Bronte sisters and brother Branwell, will undoubetedly take the viewier on an unmissable journey through their everyday struggles - as Emily, Anne and Charlotte attempt to get their works published under male pseudonyms.  

The fake parsonage
for the BBC drama
To Walk Invisible
Filming took place on the streets of York (an hour from Holdsworth House) and on Penistone Hill - half a mile from Haworth out on the moors where a fake parsonage had to be built for the series. Penistone Hill makes a wonderful visit if you're a walker; it boasts 179 acres of undulating grass and heather moorland with many rough paths and breathtaking views; you'll see the actual landscapes that the Bronte sisters wrote about and cast your eyes where theirs once fell.

3. Top Withens - Haworth Moors. Thought to be the most likely inspiration for Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights house. A lonely farmhouse (now ruins) that you can walk to from Haworth along the well-marked path which runs past the Brontë waterfall. For more description and directions click here.

Red House, Gomersal
4. Red House, Gomersal is 30 minutes from Holdsworth House by car. This Grade II* Listed 1830s cloth merchant's home has fascinating Bronte connections and is featured in Charlotte Bronte's novel Shirley. As well as seeing the restored house and outbuldings you can wander the beautiful gardens.

5. The Lord Nelson Pub, Luddendon is just five miles from the hotel and was the drinking place of Branwell whilst he was station master at Luddenden Foot Railway Station and where he met with the Luddenden Reading Society. Here you'll get another good Yorkshire pint in an lovely country setting. 

Book a Holdsworth House Bronte Break from £135 per room for one night including tickets to the Bronte Parsonage Museum, or book our Best Available Rate online for the number of nights you need.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Showcasing Yorkshire Talent

Sometimes the hard working team members beavering away right under your nose hold hidden talents, as we discovered recently with one of our own fantabulous restaurant crew.

Ailsa Lisham (already a good name for a designer) studied Textiles in Practice at Manchester School of Art, where she specialised in printed textiles for interiors.

Throughout Ailsa's degree she worked with both digital and traditional screen-printing techniques but screen print proved to be the process that she enjoyed the most.

Since graduating Ailsa has worked part-time at Holdsworth House, however when she's not here you can find her at ‘The Egg Factory’ in Hebden Bridge, a creative co-working space, where she make all of her prints.

Ailsa said, "I’ve currently designed and printed a range of linen cushions and cotton pouch bags, all are individually screen-printed by hand. The beauty of screen-print means that no two designs are ever exactly the same; you’re technically getting a one off every time!"

Whilst we'd hate to lose Ailsa as a wonderful member of our team,  we can't help but showcase her talents and encourage her to succeed in her design career. We think Ailsa's work isn't out of place in luxury homes and premium high street stores. 

If you're interested in seeing more of Ailsa's work and purchasing these affordable luxury items, then visit online store Folksy at

Connect with Alisha on social media and online:

Friday, 15 April 2016

Real Life Yorkshire Wedding: Caroline and Lindsay

As happy couples go, Caroline and Lindsay are certainly a perfect match. Here Caroline recounts her wedding day at Holdsworth House in 2016, where sourcing suppliers locally was an important part of the couple's decision making process.

"Our wedding day was fantastic, easily the best day of our lives. "

Caroline (right) and Lindsay
at Holdsworth House

Tell us about when/where you met?

"We met three years ago. I had pretty much given up on my love life and after going to yet another wedding of a friend with no 'plus one' I decided to give it one last try with online dating. Two weeks later I had my first date and we arranged to meet at St Georges Square in Huddersfield. I looked up to find the potential love of my life, just in time to see a pair of legs swooping past me; my date had stepped over one of the fountains and slipped right off her feet. From that second I knew Lindsay was the one!"

What about the venue, why Holdsworth House?

"We looked at a few wedding venues and they weren’t quite right. A friend had been to an evening do at Holdsworth House in Halifax before and said it was fantastic, so we booked to go to an open day. 
When we walked into the hotel we knew it was the place, it mixed tradition with a warm, friendly vibe. There was something magical about all the corridors and rooms, I can’t put my finger on it. It could be the exposed wood beams or traditional furniture but when it married up with the amazing staff, we booked it there and then. People smiled and made us feel welcome on every visit - from the open day to occasional lunches to meetings with the planner. The venue never let us down. 
When it came to selecting suppliers we only used people that we liked. We wanted humans who smiled, not faceless businesses who saw our wedding as a great way to make money. 
We had 60 guests during the day and around 80 at night and selected Holdsworth House’s Pain Free Wedding Package, which allowed us to select what we wanted in terms of food and drink but also gave us the reassurance that many other things were taken care of (trust me there are more things than you can ever imagine to organise for a wedding!)"

Describe your wedding invitations...

"We made the invites ourselves. I designed the invite and separate cards for additional information (totally not in work time) and Lindsay made a folding envelope, which she wrapped with lace and brown string and sealed with a button. All the invites were expertly printed by Perry Print in Huddersfield."

Tell us about your food...

"The menu tasting, about 6 weeks out, was amazing. When we arrived we were taken to our pre-prepared table with a personalised taster booklet at our places. We were presented with wine to taste in a carafe with cute little handmade labels. Then the food arrived ... it was immense. Fine filo tart of confit tomato, red onion, watercress pesto shaved pecorino - which Lindsay claimed - leaving me to taste the vegetarian option.
Despite being envious of the tart, the leek and potato soup arrived to my delight and was very tasty. This was only the beginning of a lovely meal of lemon sorbet and then ale braised beef and mustard seed mash, which was to die for. When we thought we couldn’t eat any more the pudding arrived, Bramley apple and blackberry crumble with vanilla custard. We rolled home in food coma bliss!
The wedding cake was a big deal for me. Dottie Bee’s Bakery in Leeds is run by a lovely lady named Karen. I knew her beforehand - she provides cakes for my office and I swear everyone goes crazy for them. We opted for 80 cup cakes in a variety of flavours; salted caramel with caramel centre, vanilla with raspberry conserve, lemon curd with lemon buttercream, and carrot with cream cheese. My dad made a cake stand using wood discs with 6” salted caramel sponge on top, finished with buttercream for a rustic style." 

Describe your wedding dresses...

"Lindsay and I went dress shopping separately as we didn’t want to see each other’s choice until we were at the end of the aisle. Even though we both shopped independently, we both picked Elenor Rose in Huddersfield . I think Lynette at the boutique won us over with her friendly nature and warm personality. Unbeknown to us both our dresses matched and complemented each other perfectly. Lindsay’s dress was Philipa Grace Louella, with a custom made top section and belt. Mine was a LQ London with customised sparkles."

Who did your flowers?

"Lindsay is a flower enthusiast so alongside her friends created all the centre pieces, which were jars of spring flowers on individual woodland themed log discs. She also created flower displays in items that I borrowed from my uncle's farm; a milk churn, coal bucket, wellies, a metal teapot, a mini milk churn and various vases and containers we found. The night before the wedding Holdsworth House allowed us to use a room so we could create the displays. When it came to the bouquets and button holes we contracted the talented Pink Ginger who did a wonderful job. 
For the tables we bought lots off items off Ebay, including place names that were little chalk boards on wine bottle corks, “words of wisdom” cards for guests to write their marriage advice for us, and wooden hearts which say “Mrs & Mrs Owen” to scatter on the tables."

Hair & Make-up

"Cat Eccle and the team at Mods and Rockers in Huddersfield did hair and our make-up at the hotel. Obviously as we are two girls it doubles the pressure, plus mothers of the brides and bridesmaids! But all the team were relaxed, calm and did brilliant jobs."

What was the best bit about the day?

"It’s impossible to pick one thing out of the day, the joy and happiness you feel is indescribable. When you wear a wedding dress everyone you meet smiles; friends, family, Holdsworth employees and even strangers. One special moment was when we walked out from the ceremony as a married couple and all the hotel staff congratulated us. Lindsay and I say we have our own bubble: when we are alone together we describe that time as "our bubble time", for that one day we let everyone in our bubble and shared our love."
Want to know more about weddings at Holdsworth House? Contact the team on 01422 240024 or follow us on Instagram, Facebook  or Twitter 

A picture perfect outdoor wedding

Picture the perfect wedding and you won't be far from this beauty at Holdsworth House in 2015.

The wedding was an outdoor ceremony with a full wedding breakfast and evening live band.

The images really show how beautiful an outdoor summer wedding can be and how guests enjoy the private grounds at the Jacobean country manor.

Outdoor weddings are held in the Colonnade Courtyard at Holdsworth House. On this occasion the bride and groom had the columns dressed with fresh flowers and greenery. In the event of forecast heavy rain, marriage ceremonies are moved indoors to the Abraham Brigg room, but this couple happily enjoyed the fine weather all day.

Many thanks to wedding photographer Tim Dunk and to Karen and Ryan for allowing us to share these wonderful images of their special wedding day. For Tim's full image blog click here.

For wedding enquires at Holdsworth House call 01422 240024 or complete the enquiry form.

See Holdsworth House's wedding offers.